Wyoming Teenager Arrested For Not Wearing Mask At School, Family Says
A 16-year-old girl in Wyoming was recently arrested at her school for not wearing a mask at her school, she and her father said.
Grace Smith, a junior at Laramie High School, told state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, in an online interview, that police handcuffed and arrested her for ‘trespassing’ after she was suspended for not wearing a mask then refusing to leave after being suspended.
Smith recorded video of herself getting handcuffed, which her father, Andy Smith, shared online. The video shows the officers arresting Smith before leading her out of the building.
“When asked if they’re arresting her for [not wearing] her mask, they’ll say, ‘No, we’re arresting her for her violation of failure to comply in accordance with their trespassing ordinance,'” Andy Smith told Bouchard.
Smith said the school has slapped her with 3 separate 2 day suspensions as punishment for not wearing a mask and has received $1,000 in trespassing fines for refusing to leave the campus. The student said she had a right to be on school grounds to continue her education.
Grace Smith, an honors student, explained that she has always been a “straight-A student” who has “never broken the law.”
“I would never choose to do anything wrong and I never saw myself sitting in the back of a cop car, handcuffed,” Smith said.
The student also said that she has faced a large amount of bullying from both peers and teachers alike in her school system as blowback for her stances, telling Wyoming News people have “cussed her out.”
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is himself not currently a school mask mandate but has repeatedly asserted that local districts are well within their rights to force masking and that he will stand behind them.
“My focus is on supporting local school boards as they take into account conditions in their community and work to assure students learn safely this year too,” Gordon said in a press release.
“We need to follow and respect the science,” Governor Gordon added.
Grace Smith seemingly has a different view on the matter.
“Right now, I should be playing sports and having fun,” she said. “And instead I’m fighting for the rights that were supposed to be won hundreds of years ago.”
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